This is one kind of unconventional fuel that I can get behind -candles! So, there are loads of videos online telling you how to make your own flowerpot candle heater. More than a few of them are filmed by foul-mouthed Americans so if you decide to watch some, you might make sure your kids are out of the room. Another more worrying concern is that you don’t use zinc plated screw, washers or nuts, as they cause nasty fumes when heated. I wasn’t thinking when I went to B&Q the first time for my shopping, so had to go back to get non-plated metal. Really, heating up zinc plating is a terrible idea, so stay clear of the shiny options.
O.K. now, I hope that I haven’t scared anyone off too badly… But if you are looking for a fun weekend project I can recommend making one of these. I used the three pot design, and lit a 2-inch diameter unscented candle in a glass holder. Scented candles will add smoke, which may muck up your heater with time. Tea lights are ok too, but they are rather wimpy flames so I opted for a larger and longer lasting candle, which was a good call.
Yeah, but how did it work, I can hear you ask! In a nutshell, they are great for a potting shed type of situation, as they take about 30 minutes to start emitting heat, and the output isn’t enough to heat a flat or even a medium-sized room. But they will give off some heat, so where you have no heating and could use a wee bit of ambiance in a small place this is a nice thing to have around.